On Easter Sunday, James Cunningham in Toomsboro posted photos of an alligator laying dead on the side of a boat ramp at Balls Ferry State Park in Wilkinson County. It's unclear how the alligator died but we wanted to verify, is it legal to kill an alligator in Central Georgia? We spoke with Department of Natural Resources Game Warden, Tony Wynne, to find out.
"I see alligators all the time out on this river," Joel Price said.
On Easter Sunday, fisherman Joel Price was putting out lines in the Oconee River in Toomsboro. That's when he came across what he calls one of the biggest alligators he'd ever seen. He said it could have been as big as 12 feet long.
But it was dead.
James Cunningham of Toomsboro came across the gator too and posted pictures to Facebook, warning people about alligators in the river.
"It's just unusual," Price said. "People don't kill alligators on the river. They leave them alone. Now I'm not saying that one was killed. He could've died a natural death."
It's unclear how the alligator died, although Cunningham described seeing slits above his eyes.
And that raised the question, is it legal to kill an alligator in Central Georgia? We wanted to verify whether you can.
"There are certain zones where alligators can be legally taken," Tony Wynne said.
Department of Natural Resources Game Warden Tony Wynne says if you have a state alligator hunting license, you can kill an alligator in specific zones usually from August to October.
"You apply through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for a permit to hunt alligators," Wynne said. "Then once you receive that permit, it's going to have instructions on the particular zone you can take alligator."
Wynne says only some areas of Central Georgia are included in the 10 zones allowed by the DNR. But when a permit is approved, that permit is only allowed to be used to kill 1 alligator per zone.
So yes, as long as you follow the rules and regulations in place by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, we verified that it is legal to kill an alligator in Central Georgia.
SOURCE: Tony Wynne - Department of Natural Resources Game Warden